Beef Expo classes confirmed

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PLANS for this year’s Beef Expo gathered momentum this week with the confirmation there would be 11 cattle classes with four championships, as well as the usual supreme championship.

Dolphy Duke, the Limousin cross bred by the Robinson family of Boghall Farm, Capheaton.
Dolphy Duke, the Limousin cross bred by the Robinson family of Boghall Farm, Capheaton.

Organised by the National Beef Association, which operates out of Hexham Mart, the flagship beef event will take place at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire this year, on Thursday May 18.

Attracting the very best of commercial British beef cattle from the length and breadth of the UK, its success was due in no small measure to the fact the show moved around the country, said National Commercial Cattle Show co-ordinator Julie Sedgewick.

Julie has also been impressed by the loyalty of the following, not least from Tynedale farmers prepared to travel.

The Beef Expo last took place in Hexham in 2014, while last year it was in Bakewell, Derbyshire.

“We alternate between north and south and use a different location each time,” she said. “This is a national event for the NBA, so it’s important to reach as many people as possible.

“A lot of the southern farmers don’t travel, so when we’re back down south they get the chance to go, but this time round it should be easy to reach for everyone, being in the Midlands as it is.”

John Smith-Jackson, of Hightown Farm, Melkridge, is the chief steward for the cattle show itself, while last year the champion steer was Limousin cross Dolphy Duke, shown by J. A. Nicholls, from Staffordshire, but bred by father and son team Nicky and Ian Robinson, of Capheaton’s Boghall Farm.

“That was the best bullock in show!” said Julie.

The cattle show classes covered Native, Continental, British Blue and Limousin-sired steers and heifers.

Also part of the schedule are baby steer and heifer classes, as well as the ever-popular Young Handlers class.

Thanks to the diverse range of trade exhibitors promoting everything from nutrition and genetics to cattle management systems, machinery and equipment, the Beef Expo is also a platform for sharing knowledge, exchanging ideas and catching up on industry news.

Chief executive Chris Mallon said: “This event really is a true celebration of the British beef industry and the National Commercial Cattle Show really does highlight the quality of breeding here in the UK.

“We are delighted to offer visitors the opportunity to see some of the very best cattle in the industry.”

There will also be a £5,000 pot of prize money on the table, too.

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